Pakistani Policewomen: Questioning the Role of Gender in Circumscribing Police Corruption


Ahmad, Sadaf. 2019. “Pakistani Policewomen: Questioning the Role of Gender in Circumscribing Police Corruption.” Policing and Society. doi: 10.1080/10439463.2019.1611820.

Author: Sadaf Ahmad


The popular belief that women are more honest and morally superior than men, shared by many feminist theorists, development practitioners and policy makers across the globe, subsequently informs another belief, that increasing the number of women in a corrupt organisation will therefore reduce the levels of corruption in said organisation. This year-long ethnographic research on Pakistani policewomen, based on participant observation and interviews with policewomen across different ranks and in different police branches in nine Pakistani cities, critically interrogates this narrative. More specifically, it claims that while a gendered reason – policewomen's positionality as women within the world of policing – plays a critical role in circumscribing the degree to which and the kinds of corrupt activities they engage in, gender is not a very useful category to use when thinking about reducing police corruption levels in Pakistan given the socio-political and institutional structures in which the Pakistani police are enmeshed. This culturally grounded study thus makes an empirically rooted contribution to exploring the relationship between policewomen, gender, and corruption, which is currently underdeveloped in the global literature on policewomen and completely absent in the literature on policewomen in Pakistan.

Keywords: Pakistan, Gender, policewomen, corruption

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2019

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